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Using Exemplar Essays to Improve Students’ Work

Beth Kemp | Tuesday May 17, 2011

Categories: Hot Entries, Teaching Ideas & Skills Development

Associated Resources

  • Suggested ways of using exemplar essays.doc
  • https://english.edusites.co.uk/index.php/category/c/teaching-ideas/
  • Compare the ways in which Plath and Larkin use language to convey ideas of violence.doc
  • Teacher version with comments - Plath and Larkin - Violence.doc
  • Compare the ways in which Plath and Duffy use language to convey a sense of childhood.doc
  • Teacher version with comments - Plath and Duffy - Childhood.doc
  • Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy use language to explore relationships.doc
  • Teacher Notes on C grade essay.doc
  • Compare the ways in which Plath and Duffy use language to convey the theme of anger.doc
  • Teacher Notes on D grade essay.doc
  • Compare the ways in which Duffy and Larkin use language to create a sense of isolation.doc
  • Teacher version with comments - Larkin and Duffy - Isolation.doc

Model or exemplar essays are often requested by students, but they often use them inefficiently: reading them once and immediately forgetting most of their contents.  These activities are intended to get students to engage with exemplar work in a range of ways which can help to improve their own work by making them more aware of how essays meet (or miss) assessment criteria.  Activities such as these can also provide a framework for self- or peer- assessment, perhaps to encourage improvements before submitting work.  It is also productive to get students to engage with an exemplar essay and then apply what they’ve learnt to one of their own, ideally something that hasn’t yet been marked.  The activities offered here all have different goals: some meet quite specific needs and can be used to redress particular weaknesses in student work, while others serve to illustrate more broadly the features of ‘good’ or ‘top band’ work, or the characteristics that are often missing in early attempts and unplanned essays.

Marking essays according to a mark scheme

Resources required:

  • Exemplar essays
  • Exam...

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